When thinking about onboarding, it is impossible to think around the first day's impressions. You need to see in weeks, months, years, far beyond the first perception.
The experience itself should be cohesive so that the person feels confident around his/her role and the company's purpose and structure.
Effective employee onboarding before, during, and after day one can mean the difference between an employee who remains engaged for years to come or an empty desk after only a few months.
Here are a few tips to consider for your new hires to avoid overwhelmed or lost colleagues.
1. Present and show who you are and what you stand for
Have in mind, that being well-aware of the identity that the company is presenting internally or externally is as vital to the new hire as it should be relevant to the organization itself. Provide clear guidelines and handbooks which illustrate your beliefs, values & standpoints around your culture and your work processes.
2. Bring awareness to your products/services that you provide
No matter the industry you're circulating in, it is essential to provide the necessary details around your services and products. Yes, interviews usually contain a decent insight into your scope of work; however, that is not enough, to begin with when you have a new person in the team. So make a short and creative introduction and be specific! 😉
3. Provide familiarity and insight around the general organizational structure
Every organization has some structure; whether it is flat or hierarchical, it doesn't matter as long as both sides understand their position in the company.
You can help in all sorts of ways by assigning peers/mentors to the new roles, or simply saying 'to who you can turn to around certain matters' so that the adaptation process of your new person feels smooth and natural.
4. Introduce the colleagues/teammates
Working in teams skyrocketed in this new and modern era. And it all started with a simple phrase 'two heads think better than one.' Building and developing positive, collaborative, and stable relationships in the workspace is the engine that keeps on running when all other parts are falling apart. It is pivotal to introduce and meet the team in the best way possible when having a new member on board, even before the first day at work. You are going to spend so much time together, so getting to know each other is only the start!
5. Reveal the office/workspace in a unique way
The office or workspace itself is a mystery in a box on the first day. Finding regular things like: coffee, refreshments, printer, physical equipment, and so on can be tiring and time-consuming to ask. Why not make exciting and funny map sketches of the overall office/ workspace and the common working areas. Include it in your onboarding journey and make it appealing to see!
6. Inform and manifest the local employment rights
Employment rights and matters around the local labor law are usually the HR domain. Of course, you can't put all the figures and facts in your policies and procedures. Still, common areas such as vacation & days off, sick & maternity leave, compensation & benefits, working hours could be great to have easily accessible whenever you need them. Why spend so much time explaining when you can save some by allocating and distributing these things in advance? 🙂
7. Make the person feel welcomed
It is normal and common to feel like an 'outsider' on the first day at work.
All the new people coming in and out saying 'hi' may be a bit too much to bear.
Offer help, ask questions like: 'how was your day?' or' is there anything that I can help you with?' A kind smile would do at least half of the job so that he/she can loosen up and be their authentic self over time.
8. Keep in mind that this person may be going through a career change or transition
Have in mind that changing or shifting from one place to another is indeed a new and challenging chapter. But realistically speaking, it may be stressful sometimes because of the fear of switching environments or adapting to a new network of people. The transition itself is scary for some that are struggling whether they made the right choice, and for others, it's courageous and ambitious. Based on each personality's behavior, a personalized approach should always be a top priority.
So take it easy and smart 🙂